The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew and ‘Oriental’ Languages on Scholarship, Science, and Society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Call for papers.

Leuven, 13-15 December 2017

In 1517, Leuven witnessed the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue. This institute, funded through the legacy of Hieronymus Busleyden and enthusiastically promoted by Desiderius Erasmus, offered courses in the three ‘sacred’ languages Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The initiative was not the only of its kind in the early 16th century. Ten years earlier, the first Collegium Trilingue had been established in the Spanish Catholic collegium of San Ildefonso, and similar institutes and language chairs were soon to follow. By the end of 1518, the university of Wittenberg offered courses of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin in the regular curriculum, whereas in 1530 king Francis I founded his Collège Royal in Paris after the model of the Louvain Collegium Trilingue. This fascination with Greek and Hebrew did not come out of nowhere, but had its roots in Renaissance Italy, whence it gradually disseminated to other parts of Europe. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that, as early as the beginning of the 14th century, the Council of Vienne had authorized and encouraged the foundation of professorships in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic at four universities (Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and Salamanca), mainly in order to convert Jews, Muslims, and Oriental Christians to the ‘true’ faith. The council and Italian Humanism thus testify to the fact that enthusiasm for learning Greek and ‘Oriental’ (nowadays: Semitic) languages, next to Latin, among Western-European scholars and clergymen clearly predates the 16th century.


#ICYMI – Because Luther Never Said That, and He Never Nailed Anything to Anything

Luther is credited with doing and saying a lot of things he never did or said.  For example, the whole ‘ here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me, amen’ never happened.  Neither did the ‘nailing of the 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church’ nor the tossing of the ink pot at the devil, nor did he utter ‘we are beggars, that’s the truth’ as his last word.

Give a look at Andreas Malessa’s new little book and take a look at the table of contents and other front matter here.

indexMartin Luther hat der Nachwelt Werke mit insgesamt 80.000 Seiten hinterlassen. Seine 95 Thesen haben die Reformation ins Rollen gebracht. Der Theologe und Journalist Andreas Malessa räumt mit seinem Buch „Hier stehe ich, es war ganz anders“ mit den häufigsten Irrtümern über Martin Luther auf. Eine Rezension von Johannes Weil.

Malessa möchte mit seinem Buch „Hier stehe ich, es war ganz anders“ die Neugier wecken, welche „Lebens- und Gotteserfahrungen Luthers“ den Menschen heute nahekommen. Über jedem der 24 Kapitel steht eine These, mit der sich Malessa auf maximal zehn Seiten beschäftigt. Vor allem für geschichtsinteressierte Leser sind die historischen Hintergrundinformationen wertvoll.

Here’s the book’s info- „Hier stehe ich, es war ganz anders: Irrtümer über Luther“, SCM Hänssler, 14,95 Euro, 9-783773-156103

Hämmerte Martin Luther seine 95 Thesen wirklich an eine Kirchentür? Warf er ein Tintenfass nach dem Teufel? Floh seine Frau Katharina in einem Heringsfass aus dem Kloster und pflanzte Luther wirklich ein Apfelbäumchen?

Alles fröhlicher Unsinn. Hörfunk- und TV-Journalist Andreas Malessa erzählt uns in solide recherchierten Fakten wie es wirklich war. Unbeschreiblich unterhaltsam, kenntnisreich und voller Anerkennung für den großen Reformator. Kein Irrtum übrigens: Käthe und Martin hatten Zuschauer in ihrer Hochzeitsnacht…!   Mit Illustrationen von Thees Carstens.

The Dates for the 2018 Hawarden OT in the NT Conference

Dear colleagues,

This email is to give you advance notice of the date of the next Annual Seminar on the OT in the NT: we will be meeting in Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, North Wales, as usual, from early evening on Wednesday 21st March until lunchtime on Friday 23rd March 2018. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Wishing you all the best for the Easter season,

Professor Susan Docherty
Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism/Head of Theology
Newman University Birmingham

Is the Tiberias Stadium Really a Stadium?

This interesting essay explores the question.

While archaeological excavations often help us to elucidate the narratives found in ancient texts, trying to combine the two sources can sometimes lead us astray. Examples where texts are used for the interpretation of archaeological material usually receive a lot of attention in the media. Cases when archaeology and text cannot be so easily used together are considered much more rarely, especially in the weeks around Pesach and Easter when hyperbole in terms of the importance of certain finds tends to hit the media machine. I wish to focus here on a case where text and archaeology cannot be so straightforwardly combined.